Type 2 Diabetes Prevention StrategiesBy Sarah S – Jenny Craig
According to recent statistics, nearly 30 million Americans are living with diabetes.1 With medical care costs for people with diabetes running more than twice those of those without, there’s more reason than ever to take preventive measures. Nearly 95% of diabetes cases in the U.S. are Type 2; this means that although their bodies CAN produce insulin, they are either not producing enough, or their bodies aren’t using it effectively. While there is evidence that heredity plays a part, lifestyle is also a key contributor. Although lifestyle is a main risk factor, exercises and diet are two of the most important Type 2 diabetes prevention strategies.
Weight Loss & Type 2 Diabetes Prevention
Losing weight is one of is one of the best ways to help prevent Type 2 diabetes. A study found that a 7% weight loss reduces risk for diabetes by 58%.2 Smart eating is a key factor in weight loss, and if you’re already in the midst of your Jenny Craig weight loss journey, we’ve got some good news for you: you’re already taking steps to help prevent Type 2 diabetes! Since obesity is one of the most common causes of this prevalent disease, making the decision to lose weight is obviously one of the best ways to prevent it. Better still, the foods that will naturally support healthy weight loss are also foods that can help reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes.
Ways To Prevent Diabetes - Your Diet
If your doctor has recently advised that you are on the verge of developing Type 2 diabetes or it runs in your family, you can start making changes to your diet right away. In fact, John Hopkins Medicine found that you can significantly lower your risk of developing diabetes (by 58%) if you reduce your body weight by 5-10%.3
In addition, a recent study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health revealed that healthy eating can reduce diabetes risk in women from 32-55%, depending on your background.4 The study concluded that for every 1,000 women, these dietary changes can prevent Type 2 diabetes in 5-8 women. A nutritious and healthy diet not only supports women’s health, but it also can help prevent Type 2 diabetes as well.
If you are a diabetic, losing weight is equally important to managing your diabetes. If you’re a Jenny Craig member, our clinically proven diabetic weight loss plan is specifically tailored to help you manage your diabetes and lose weight.
How To Prevent Diabetes Type 2 With Diet - Reduce Portion Sizes
To help support your weight loss, monitor your portion sizes. This is one of the easiest ways to cut back on caloric intake. When it comes to a healthier diet, try to stay away from food items that are high in fat and sugar. These two culprits can increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Instead of choosing that afternoon candy bar or sugary beverage, try substituting for a more wholesome and nutritious option like nuts and a piece of fruit or sparkling water. Not only will this keep your body’s blood glucose levels in check, but it may also help you also stay fuller for a longer period of time.
Exercise to Prevent Diabetes
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to prevent Type 2 diabetes. Lack of physical activity is a risk factor for diabetes. Research has also shown that in addition to a low-fat, high-fiber diet, regular exercise—at least 30 minutes a day, five times per week—can help maintain weight loss, which helps prevent Type 2 diabetes.5
With so many different types of exercises, find the one you enjoy doing the most. Whether it’s walking, strength and resistance exercise, high-intensity interval training, or dancing, all you need is to break a sweat a few times a week. Some physical activity is better than one and there are important benefits to you health with even moderate-intensity exercises.
Aside from its obvious weight loss benefits, exercising can also help increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin if you have insulin resistance.6 Daily physical activity may also help lower your glucose levels, cholesterol, and blood pressure.7 “Skeletal muscle [the muscles of movement] is your body’s biggest consumer of blood sugar,” says Timothy Church, MD, MPH, PhD, Professor of Preventive Medicine at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University. “The immediate effect of exercise is to help control blood sugar for 24 to 48 hours post-workout as muscle cells pull glucose from your blood to replenish spent stores.”
As you continue to exercise regularly, adds Church, your muscle cells become more sensitive to insulin, meaning less insulin is required to usher glucose into those cells. In addition, research has found that during exercise, your muscles take glucose out of your blood through a second pathway that does not require insulin. And, if that’s still not enough, being active has also proven to improve your mood and energy!
Ready to get moving? Consult your physician first. It’s essential to have their approval before you begin an exercise program, but you also need to talk about strategies to prevent low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, during exercise, especially if you are taking insulin or medications that increase insulin secretion. Remember, physical activity burns glucose and lowers blood sugar. Most likely, your doctor will suggest an approach that includes monitoring your glucose levels and timing exercise and eating to keep blood sugar levels within a steady range. They may also suggest carrying a snack with you during exercise sessions in case you begin to have symptoms of low blood sugar.
Remember, too, that both exercise and weight-loss improve your body’s sensitivity to insulin and its ability to manage glucose, so if you see your blood sugar levels dropping over time, as you begin to increase your physical activity and/or lose more weight, meet with your doctor to discuss whether your medication needs to be reduced.
In addition to learning how to help prevent diabetes Type 2 with diet, it’s important to know the symptoms and risk factors to spot the warning signs early. Call us today to learn more about reducing your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Jenny Craig’s meal plans are the perfect prevention program for Type 2 diabetes and any other cardiovascular diseases. Book your free appointment today!